Water damage in your business or home can happen from severe weather like heavy rains or melting snow, but in Billings, MT, a more common reason for flooding is from broken or leaking appliances. Whether it’s from a refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, or ice-maker, or toilet, water damage can sneak up on you if you do not take preventative measures.
Do a Broken Appliance Checklist
Even if a hose or pipe has a small drip, over time that drip can lead to massive water damage, causing structural damage and growth of mold and mildew. Use this checklist to make sure your appliances are in working condition and help with future flood prevention.
- Check the manual and follow manufacturer’s recommendations. Every appliance is different, and requires a different schedule for routine maintenance. Check your owner’s manual for each appliance and follow the recommendations on how regularly to have your appliance inspected for optimal performance. In between inspections, keep an eye out for puddles of water under and around your appliance, as well as dampness, mildew, and mold growth. Just being aware will put you a step ahead of water damage.
- Inspect seals to see if you need a refrigerator seal replacement. Appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and ice-makers need proper seals and gaskets in order to keep cool air in and warm air out. Improperly sealed appliances can leak water due to condensation and moisture build-up. If warm air leaks into your appliance, it will also cause the appliance to work harder to keep things cold, ultimately shortening its life and raising your electricity bills. Repair or replace and defective door seals that aren’t smooth, not fully or have cracks, tears, or other breaks.
- Watch out for dish soap in washing machine. Consult your washing machine and dishwashers’ user manuals before putting soap in your appliances. Make sure to only use the manufacturer’s recommended soap. The wrong soap can lead to excessive suds that can seep out of the door seals and into your home.
- Replace flexible water supply tubing. Flexible water supply tubing is great for not rusting or freezing, but tends to crack, deteriorate, break, and burst. Consider replacing the standard water supply tubing that comes with appliances for something sturdier like stainless steel tubes, which are known for their longer lifespans. Also, when you are placing your appliances, take the length of the water supply tubing into consideration. If the appliance is too far away, the line becomes too taut and will have trouble pulling water in. On the other hand, if your appliance is pushed too closely into the wall, the line could kink. Aim for somewhere right in the middle, providing the right amount of slack.
- “Level it” installations. When you’re installing your appliance, or even after you clean underneath it, make sure it is level and balanced. Appliances that are not level can work improperly and leak water. A simple fix, like propping up one side of the appliance with a shim to level it out, can save you major hassle and money later.
- Consider buying new appliances. It may seem like a lot of money to invest, especially when that old water heater works “well enough,” but older appliances tend to use more energy, cost more money to run, and are prone to leaking because of their age. Replacing older parts can work as a temporary fix, but replacing the entire machine might be the next logical step to future water damage. And don’t worry about your washing machine ending up in a landfill–check your local listings for a broken appliance donation center, like a RecycleSpot or Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
Need help from a water restoration company?
Alpha Omega is a fully certified restoration company serving Billings, MT and the surrounding areas. If you own an appliance such as a refrigerator, ice-maker, washing machine, or even a shower and toilet, you are vulnerable to water damage. Water inside the home needs dried quickly to prevent further problems like mold growth and rotting. Before you do any work to remove the water yourself, call Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration for a free inspection.
Our crew is on call 24/7 and we will come to assess the situation, document the damage, and then we will work with your insurance adjuster to provide you the fastest and best water restoration possible. With our help you can focus on your family and relationships, while you let us worry about restoring your physical property to its pre-disaster state. When we are done, all traces of the destruction will be gone, and you will be left with a safe and comfortable home.